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Here's something cool. So as many of you may of may not know, Ive been striving to not only reevaluate and redefine my career and life goals, but I've also been spending much of my time revisiting my own personal philosophies about what this whole thing is all about and what I can do to become the man I'd like to be. In the midst of my own struggle, I was fortunate enough to take in a very endearing seminar with Jeff Gogue? at this year's Paradise Artist Retreat. He was very frank about being human, being fallable and more or less imparted to everyone that it was okay to just be you. I, along with everyone there, was floored...not because I didn't know big name tattooers and artists werent regular folks, but that it was okay to have the courage to just "be".
So, anyhoo, I've been disenchanted with some of my roles in the tattoo community and I'm striving to have something more meaningful(to me). Towards that end I'd decided to do more guest spots with artists I admire and less conventions. I want more conversations in life-more shared laughs, stories and smiles... and more real (personal) challenges.
So here is some new:
Pedals, Painting and the Reinvention of an Artist
In September, I will be biking from Seattle to LA, stopping off along the way to visit, paint and hopefully reconnect with some of the kindest and most inspiring tattooers. I'll start off visiting Damon Conklin? in Seattle. He's always been a huge inspiration and has always treated me with such an open frendliness and kindness...plus he is a super rad painter! From there I head to Portland to stop James Kern?'s shop and hopefully spend a day in the area with him and his wonderful lady. They both have been so warm and friendly, even when i felt I was at my lowest, and I think they are both really rad. From there I head to Eugene to stop by one of my earliest inspirations shop to see Joshua Carlton?..for a paint day and some good conversation! Really can't wait :) Then I head to Grants Pass to arm wrestle Jeff Gogue, hopefully organize a paint day, but for sure share some good conversations. I owe him a lot, for helping me to see it's okay to admit I'm human, and at the very least Id like to buy him a beer. After that I have one or two tentative stops but fro sure heading down the coast to see my friend, the inspiring painter and tattooer Edgar Marquez?. Realy looking forward to some brush and canvas time. Then its on to Sullen Clothing? HQ to finally shake hands with Ryan Smith? and Jeremy Hanna?.
Along the way I'll be filming the whole affair, hopefully with a few Blair Witch moments, some "crying in the rain because I'm a sissy" moments and other hijinks. I'll be sitting down to interview most of these guys because all have so much to share about painting, art, tattooing, getting older, struggles and good times and I hope to help showcase all for the amazing people they are. I'll hopefully be stopping by to see Joe Swanson? of Sullen Radio as well as calling in to his show occasionally.
I wont lie. I'm scared of the seeming immensity of the task, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. i'd like to see more real faces in our community this year and beyond. I guess I'd better get to training :)
I've been doing a lot of quick monochromatic work recently, mostly in an effort to hone some ideas I've been tossing around in my head, and often the quickest way to get started on a piece is to lay in a rough stencil. But, as I often tint my surfaces before I use them, the question of how to get rid of excess graphite or charcoal during the stenciling process while keeping the tint layer in place has been something I've been dealing with on a daily basis. One thing that I've found that helps is pressing a kneaded eraser directly into the surface, and repeating without actually "erasing" anything. The eraser picks up the excess without removing tint. Just thought I'd share
I was recently asked to be the guest editor of Tattoo Master Magazine. We were fortunate enough to get an Interview with Alvin Chong, a feature on Gabrien Ripley of Off the Map Tattoo, tutorials by Myself, Tom Strom, Joshua Carlton, Kyle Allen and Richie Buldog. As well as a few equipment reviews and a bunch of other things. Available now at